I do think there’s a ‘squatch in these woods…” With that opening monologue, I know it’s time for my favorite show on Animal Planet, “Finding Bigfoot.” The premise is that four researchers receive a credible piece of evidence suggesting a Sasquatch sighting, investigate that evidence with the sighting’s witnesses and finally perform a further scan of the area.
“There is absolutely nothing scientific about this show,” one of my housemates says. I, meanwhile, have my attention glued to the action as the researchers do their nighttime investigations – howling into the woods, banging on trees and watching the thermal imager are all part of the job.
I finally register my housemate’s criticism of my beloved show. “You’re just saying that because you don’t believe in Bigfoot,” I reply.
“NO. That’s not what I said. I said, this show is crap because they’re acting like scientists when there’s nothing scientific about what they’re doing.”
He does have a point. Three of the research team members are a part of the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization), and only the fourth member is a biologist. And she’s the skeptic of the group. Plus, in just about every episode, the night hunts yield few clear results. A howl here, a knock there, a shot of one of the researches thinking they heard or saw something.
So why do I watch this show, or even believe in Sasquatch?
“Finding Bigfoot” may not be too scientific, but to me it’s entertaining. Even if Sasquatch is purely myth, I get a kick out of all of the hype and the divide between believers and skeptics.
As for my belief, I have several reasons. First, as the show’s research team points out, there are tons of open areas in the United States that are not inhabited by humans. This leaves plenty of room for Sasquatches to live in seclusion from civilization. Second, Sasquatches by nature are very reclusive animals. They’re largely nocturnal, stick to heavily forested areas and are able to move quickly without drawing attention to themselves.
And finally, the biggest indicator that a man-sized ape lives in North America is that there are so many witnesses. And it’s not all just in one area – like the Pacific Northwest – like most skeptics think. There are sightings all across the country: New York, Ohio, even one piece of police dash-cam footage from central Georgia. Is there some hoax mastermind pulling the wool over the eyes of every single witness that holds a different piece of evidence? What would be the motive of someone making up a story that would make them look foolish to the majority of listeners?
Though I myself may not have any evidence to support the existence of Sasquatch – though I plan to one day go “squatching” – to me it’s sometimes fun to believe in something others consider outrageous.